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“Abundant wild life near the beach.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve
Entrance at Warner Ave. and PCH, (opposite Bolsa Chica State Beach), Huntington Beach, CA
714 846 1114
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Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
Activities: Birdwatching
Attraction details
Huntington Beach, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Abundant wild life near the beach.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve provides excellent educational opportunities for people of all ages who are interested in visiting a diverse ecological reserve on the shore of Huntington Beach. Leisurely walks along the maintained trails offer visitors the chance to observe a large variety of birds who visit or breed in the area. Photographers frequent the area due to the large number of species that can be observed.
The visitor center offers a small museum with interesting displays and excellent information pertaining to the local fauna and flora.

Visited June 2013
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103 reviews from our community

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English first
Huntington Beach, California, United States
Top Contributor
68 reviews 68 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Great place to try out your photography tools”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

We live just over a mile from the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. There are two times to go there, although almost any time is acceptable. Early morning and late afternoon when you have that long sun to create depth shadows on your subjects. Parking just off Pacific Coast Highway is free, although it can get quite congested on weekends. There is also a nice long over water walkway to the other parts of the reserve. Be sure to take your polarizer filters as the observing of crabs and fish in the lower water areas makes these filters a necessity. Birds - hang on because you are going to be surprised at the sheer number of birds, especially as the tide goes out. Be watchful for skimmer birds that fly quite low over the water and put their lower beak in the water as they wait to get a meal and their beak snaps shut when they contact something to eat. Your shutter speed should be up there. The shutter speed should match or exceed the focal length of your lens. In other words, a 70-200 mm lens should be used at 1/200th or faster. If you have an f 2.8 lens, be prepared to go as fast as 1/1000th and experiment with focusing on a point where the bird will be at the moment of of you tripping the shutter. Use a shutter release cable or an electronic shutter release as you may move the camera using your finger on the shutter. This advice also requires you to use manual focus, not auto-focus, as the bird is flying fairly quickly and there is a time lag between actually tripping the shutter and the shutter actually triggering. This its something you will learn with experience.
Do not be in a big hurry, Take your time and patience is the key to successful bird photography. It is only part of the while photographic process and the lessons learned here will help you on your other photography. Bring water and their is a bathroom or actually a porta-potty. It's not the cleanest facility, so be prepared with your own TP.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best Ecological Sites and Next to the Most Beautiful Beach”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

Love to walk there. You can see all kind of birds and fishes. It's next to the wide open beach and one mile from down town Huntington Beach where you can find the best resturants.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Bird lovers delight”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

This area is very relaxing to go for a long walk. Loads of bird species which vary depending on the time of year. Interesting historically. I go there several times a year. Easy parking and it's free.

Visited November 2013
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Austin, Texas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great Bird Watching, Odd to this out of state person”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

This was a very odd visit for me. To see a wetlands surrounded by oilfields and residences in the middle of a mega populated area was just odd. The trails were well groomed, walking was wonderful. The evening light made for great photography. I was pretty amazed at the sheer the abundance of wildlife i observed in this small reserve. But because of the surrounding area it was a very peculiar experience.

Visited November 2012
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